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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are lots of little sugar ants (smelly if you squish them) trying to enter the hive. I can see the bees running out to hit/bite them but there are so many. Do they usually do any harm? I swept them off the hive and sprinkled lime around the perimeter of the hive to see ifthat deters them.

Thanks,
Ed
 

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The ant you are talking about is most probably the Tapinoma ant.
If their population is large enough they can irritate the bees enough to cause damage--distracting them from doing what they should be doing to trying to get themselves rid of the nuisances.
If they've set up home in the hive (like under the roof and upper lid) it's easy enough to squish them out of existence with a hive tool. If they are in a ground nest, try to follow their trail from the hive to the source and eliminate them there (A kettle of boiling water is a good non-poisinous method, sometimes it has to be done 2-3 times). If nothing else works, you can try putting your hive on a stand with the legs in containers filled with water or (kerosene/oil) like a protective moat around your castle.
 

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I've heard that sprinkling cinnamon liberally around the base of the hive deters ants. Just a thought, I doubt it would harm anything to try it.
 

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add a bit of liquid ivory dish soap to a spray bottle and spray any ants you see. if the ants are from a common nest reducing their numbers is generally all that is required to bring the problem under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So far this morning the ants are gone. Beekeeping really makes you step back and think before making a "pest control" decision. In the past if ants were coming in the house I would run to the store and pick up some ant killer spray and go to work! Now I say, ooh, this might harm the bees. Sadly I was probably one of the contributers to the bee colony problems; but not any more!
 

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Eddy writes:
Sadly I was probably one of the contributers to the bee colony problems; but not any more!

tecumseh:
in reality we are all part of the problem. some of us more than other and some of us do try to do better once we see our involvement (small or large) in the problem.
 

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diatimacious earth ( as in pool filter media ), very fine powdered sea shells, but actually very sharp edges, that have been used effectively against a variety of pests in the garden, I am going to use it shortly, as I have ants raiding the sugar syrup, tiny things way smaller then fire ants but thousands of them actually drowning in the syrup fouling it a bit. :drinks:
 
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